Majoring in Physics

This degree is intended for the student seeking the most detailed and quantitative preparation in physics available in an undergraduate curriculum.

A person with a BS degree in Physics gains a knowledge of the interactions that govern the behavior of objects in the universe and techniques used for measuring these interactions. A student with this degree is well prepared for:

  • Graduate Study in: physics, astronomy, astrophysics, meteorology, metallurgy, chemical physics, biophysics, geophysics, polymer science, health physics, science history, economics, computer science and various engineering fields.
  • Professional Studies in: medicine, patent law, primary or secondary education, the diplomatic service, educational administration, technical administration, library science, and computer interfacing and software development.
  • Employment in: research and development laboratories (industrial, governmental or university), technical sales, service and management, technical or industrial production, technical maintenance or supervision.

Transfer to Upper College

A student should apply for transfer to a degree-granting college upon completion of at least 30 credits with an overall GPA of at least 2.0. This should be done through an appointment with his/her adviser in Academic Advisement Center, Simmons 205, 972-7430. A student should have completed 3450:149, Precalculus, or its equivalent, before transferring into the department.


Degree Requirements

This program of study is effective for 5 years from first date of signature. A minimum of 128 earned and approved semester credits are needed for graduation. A minimum of 47 credits of 300/400 level courses, exclusive of General Studies, are required for a bachelor's degree in The College of Arts and Sciences (see General Bulletin). The Physics BS requires a minimum of 40 Physics credits at the 200 level and above. General Education and Workshop credits do not apply.


Arts and Sciences Requirements

Degree requirements in Arts and Sciences include fourteen credits of a foreign language (most majors), and 47 credits of 300/400 level courses, not including workshops or courses taken to meet the Humanities in Western Tradition or Area Studies and Cultural Diversity requirements. Consult your major department for any possible exceptions or problems.

NOTE TO STUDENT: A student is expected to be familiar with the degree requirements.

Required courses


Physics Minor

This is recommended for other STEM students wishing to broaden their experience in physics. The physic minor requires 18 credits as indicated below. In many cases (for example Engineering, Chemistry, Geology) students already require Elementary Classical Physics I and II for their major (8 credits total) so students seeking the physics minor need only take 10 more credits of physics courses to obtain a minor.

Required for all students:

  • 3650:291,2 Elementary Classical Physics I, II (4 credits each)
  • 3650:301 Elementary Modern Physics (3 credits)
  • 3650:3xx Electives (7 credits)

Recommended electives:

  • 3650:322,3 Intermediate Laboratory I, II (3 credits each)
  • 3650:340 Thermal Physics (3 credits)
  • 3650:350 Modeling and Simulation (3 credits)

Other electives may be chosen with permission of the physics department.